Summertime no time to leave dogs in cars

Summer is in full swing, and what a great time of year it is for us humans, but it can be devastating to our canine companions if they are carelessly left in a hot vehicle while we “quickly” run into the post office, grocery store or restaurant.

Don’t think those cracked windows are going to keep your dog safe from the hot sun. Even if parked in the shade, the temperature inside your car can quickly reach hazardous levels.

If your solution is to leave your car idling with the air conditioner on, soon that cool air turns into a heater. And, a dog left on an open truck bed can quickly suffer from heat exposure, as well. The bed itself is like a hotplate and many dogs suffer paw burns, so if you can’t put your hand on the bed without pain, don’t expect your dog to walk on it without pain.

Dogs cool themselves by panting, and if the air around them is too hot – particularly if they don’t have access to water – dogs are physically unable to regulate their body temperature. In 10 minutes or fewer, an overheated dog can suffer heatstroke, which can lead to collapse and major organ damage. If not rescued, your car becomes their deathtrap, leading to a slow, agonizing death.

Sadly this happens every year, and it’s 100 percent preventable. Don’t let this happen to your best friend – they depend on you to be the wise one and make good decisions regarding their safety. So, please leave your dogs at home with appropriate shelter and plenty of fresh water during the “dog days” of summer, regardless of how much they beg to go along for the ride.

If you do see a poor defenseless pooch left in a hot vehicle, be proactive. Getting involved can mean the difference between life and death. Go into the store and have the owner paged, call the police, or, if there’s no time, get the dog out no matter what it takes. In return, maybe someday a dog will save your life.

Angie Andersson


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